After the Storm?

Chapter 8

Author's notes: Thanks again for sticking with me. The second half of this chapter might deal with some triggers and is very dark. I am going to label this M for mature and I am writing it here in case I cannot put it in the proper place when I post it. Remember I am still learning.

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters. I also do not own the song "Good Morning Heartache" by Dianna Ross or "Pour Me Something Stronger" by Connie Britton.

After the Storm?

Chapter 8 – While you were away Part 4

6 Years Ago

Mercedes went home after talking to Joe. He did help her feel better about what she was going through. When she was a little girl it was all about the music for her and somehow she allowed all these blows to her self-esteem steal her joy about that. He reminded her of Sam when he helped her; she truly did miss Sam.

She turned on her computer and looked to see if she had any emails from him. She new 6 months felt like forever but she hoped that he would reach out once more. She wanted too but she just felt so foolish she had no idea of what to say to him or how to start the conversation.

Mercy: Oh, hi Sam. (She thought to herself). I am so sorry I somehow forgot to call you back over the last six months, I have been so busy being rejected by everyone in town, and then there was my attempted surgical procedure, not to mention the nervous breakdown… but I love you.

The, I love you part, she said out loud.

Mercy: Why didn't you say it to him even once? (She thought) Because you were waiting for him to say it – but he didn't; why would he? No, stop Mercy! (She thought to herself) Stop casting aspersions on someone who really cared about you; he was a good guy but I guess it was not meant to be.

While she was going through this conversation, with herself in her own head, up popped a friend request in her email from facebook. When she opened it up it was a request from Stacey Evans. Mercedes smiled but when she went to look at some of the pictures hoping to see a glimpse of Sam; she saw one alright. She saw a picture of Sam and this woman, she had her arms draped all over him and they were sitting at a party with red solo cups in their hands she was smiling and he had on sun glasses although it was nighttime and it looked like the reflection of a campfire on them. They were sitting in a circle of other people kissing and smiling. The caption said Sam and Ceejay "Camping at its Best".

She just wanted to die; he reverted back to type. (She thought to herself) Thin and blonde, why did I ever let myself get caught up in a world I could never compete in? It hurt; it hurt so bad she felt like she really had gone under the knife. She just could not seem to stop the comparisons; and why should she? Her whole life she has lived in America which defined beauty in only that way. Magazines, news media, print media, fashion designers, television and movie stars they were all the same; if you were not a size 2 and of a fairer hue, you might as well jump in a lake because no one will look at you. But she really had thought that Sam was different; that maybe he could truly be different, but now she was not so sure anymore.

She ignored the friend request; not that she would not love to be friends with Stacey, but now she remembered why she stopped using Facebook. She never wanted to see this and especially not this soon.

Mercedes turned off the computer and just went to bed, she cried herself to sleep, but it was in those moments, she decided she needed to stop being in love with Sam Evans.

The next day Mercedes still sore from the cut to the heart she received last night still met with Joe in a garage in downtown L.A. It was cold inside because it was a storage place for fruits and vegetables for the Farmers Market. But the owner of the place Frank didn't mind as long as Joe gave his son free guitar lessons. It also allowed these starving artists not to actually starve by eating an apple or orange or two.

This is where Mercy got to meet Joe's band members. She did admit Joe was quickly becoming her favorite. Joe played the drums; he was about 20 years old and just referred to himself as the white guy with dreads.

Next, was David who had brown hair and stood about 6'2" tall; and he looked like he was in his thirties; but still lived in his parent's home, albeit, in their basement. He decided that living his dream of playing in a band was worth more to him than having to get his own mortgage and or growing up.

Then, there was George the kid with the brown hair and the bowl cut. He was the bass guitarist he looked about 5'6" but he had a type of smirk that you couldn't take your eyes off sometimes.

And finally, there was Vicky she came across like a bohemian type of girl wearing a Unitard and a long oversized button up blouse, which she left unbuttoned, and then she wore these long, large beads around her neck. She had long brown hair with straight bangs in the front, and she was walking around in her bare feet!

David was the first to speak.

David: Joe called me last night and told me that he met a woman who loves to sing. Would that lady be you?

Mercy: Yes, it would be me.

David: Well if you really love singing it will all come out in the delivery, emotions, you know what I mean?

Mercy: (smiling) I think I have a pretty good idea.

Vicky: Dave! Why are you harassing the girl, you are in the wrong head space you know.

Let it just flow out organically girl; even the worst singers sound better when they are not so tense; and to tell you the truth and no offense (She waved her arms all around Mercedes) but your aura is all bunched up girl, you need to relax.

George: Yeah, but it is bunched up in all the right places! (He laughed and Dave laughed as well and high fived George).

Mercedes just shook her head.

Joe: Alright guys, alright let's stop yapping and actually hear her sing. What would you like to sing?

She thought for a few moments and then decided on what she new at this moment she could sing with real emotion.

Mercy: It will be a little bare-boned because we don't have all the instruments but do you guys know "Good Morning Heartache by Dianna Ross"

Joe: Classic, okay let's try it.

The music started to play and Mercedes started to sing and it was actually pretty easy for her to sing this song with emotion.

Mercy (Sings):

Good morning heartacheYou all gloomy sightGood morning heartacheThought we said goodbye last nightI tossed and turnedUntil it seemed you had goneBut here you are with the dawn

Wish I'd forget youBut you're here to stayIt seems I met youWhen my love went awayNow every day I start bySaying to youGood morning heartache, what's new?

Stop haunting me nowCan't shake you no howJust leave me aloneI've got those Monday bluesStraight through Sunday blues

Good morning heartacheHere we go againGood morning heartacheYou're the one who knew me whenMight as well get used to youHangin' aroundGood morning heartacheSit down

A couple of tears ran down her face as she finished the song. The music stopped and there were two things that were clear to the members of that band. Mercedes loved to sing; but she was in love with someone else too, and they were gone.

XXXX

30 years ago

It was Chloe's 5th birthday party, and her father had invited all their friends and neighbors to help dote on his lovely baby girl. Everyone was there except her mother who had run out to get the ice cream but was taking a long time to come back. It would not be until years later that Chloe would ever find out the reason why.

Chloe used to always wonder about her mother, she loved her dearly but sometimes her mother scared her; she would have problems remembering things like helping to bring the cupcakes to school for a party. She would just seem to nod off in the middle of the day on weekends and Chloe would try to wake her but could not; especially on weekends when her dad would but on the green uniform and leave with a duffle bag; that would scare her a lot because she heard funny noises in the house when she felt like she was alone.

But Chloe was not wondering about her mother right now she had on a pretty dress and her dad wants her to sing in front of everybody.

Greg Chambers: C'mon sweetheart! Come stand on this chair so that everyone can see and hear you.

Greg Chambers always said that his daughter had been touched by the angels; she would bring joy and comfort to millions through her singing; and Chloe believed it.

Greg started to play the piano while his daughter Chloe belted out the strongest, loveliest, and clearest version of "The sun will come out tomorrow" from the hit musical Annie; and everyone loved it. It was all true and they congratulated her on her fate at being big and famous one day. Chloe had felt so special and warm until her mother came home.

Something was wrong she stumbled into the door and dropped the ice cream all on the living room carpet she started cursing uncontrollably and screaming that if Greg made more money this party could have been catered and she would not have to deal with all this hassle.

The friends and neighbors rubbed Chloe's back as they said their good-byes and gave excuses why they could no longer stay. Greg's wife Norma then started shouting about how all of this was a waste of money and time and stormed away upstairs.

This would be the last time Chloe felt so special and warm again.

Greg excused himself from his pride and joy Chloe and then went upstairs once everyone was gone. She could still hear them arguing if she concentrated hard enough; even until this day. She worried that this arguing would go on forever; but it didn't. Within the next two weeks her dad received a special letter saying that he had to go away for a tour-of-duty (whatever that meant?). Chloe tried real hard to understand what her father was telling her but the most she could remember was that he loved her with everything he had and she would be a great singer someday, so continue to practice.

Within three days he was gone.

Within three months another letter came saying that he was missing.

Within 6 months Ralph showed up and she never sang that the sun would come out tomorrow again.

Ralph kept telling her that he was her new daddy and he only had two hard and fast rules and she would be hurt badly if she did not follow them. 1) Never trust authority figures of any kind they are only out to hurt you; so that means not cops, security guards, no FBI, no CIA nothing. He had his own guns he could handle his own protection and he could protect his new family too. 2) Whatever happened in that house good or bad was no one's business but their own you keep it to yourself, always.

By the time Chloe was six years old; strange people started coming to the house and they were nodding off a lot like her mother had done; she had started to notice a strange odor too.

Ralph used to always have a lot of money but they never seemed to buy anything new. Chloe would sing to help to try to forget how different her life had become; what was once so beautiful and shiny; had now become so dark and dirty.

28 Years Ago

If she only had any idea how much darker it would become. On Chloe's 7th birthday she was watching television in her living room and she noticed Ralph watching her. Her mother was having her head droop over and over again like usual. Chloe used to think it was funny to watch her mother do that after a while; but she also noticed that her mother had more and more strange marks on her arms. Starting to feel more and more uncomfortable about Ralph watching her she excused herself and went to bed.

That night Ralph stumbled into her room telling her he had something else to give her; it was then he climbed on top of her. He was so heavy and she tried to scream but instead he held her by the throat; the pain from his hand was unbearable and what he did with his body was worse; all Chloe could do was cry but absolutely no sound came out because he had damaged her vocal chords.

This continued almost every night until Chloe was 15 years old.

15 Years Ago

Chloe was wrong though she thought that the sun would never come out again but then one of the men that would sleep on the couch all the time since Ralph got there; shot Ralph "accidently". Ralph died and some people from the state came and took her away to live in a foster home. The family was very nice and good to her, and they gave her word that her mother had been placed in a drug rehabilitation program.

Chloe had vowed to herself never to be like her mother she would never do drugs, drink or smoke. Although her foster parents were nice to her and loved her Chloe missed her real mom; probably because of the connection to her real father.

12 Years Ago

When Chloe became eighteen years old she received a note from the military she had to go to this big office. It was the second time this week since she had just been to the courthouse, she was now legally out of the foster care system and needed to start looking for some place of her own.

The military men told her that the status of her father was now changed from missing to deceased. They were apologetic, while she felt all of the air leave her lungs, she knew though that it had to be true or else he would have come back for her.

They then gave her several papers to sign and told her that her father had left all of his Army savings and pension to her and since he had served since he was 18 years old it was a considerable sum of money. Upwards of $350,000 dollars; all she had to do was to sign all of these papers and take the cashier's check with her.

Chloe was stunned but loved the fact that her father thought about her even until the end. She took all the papers and envelopes and the check with her and left. The first place she went to was the "Clear Skies Rehabilitation Center" to see her mother. She could not wait to tell her mother what her true father had done and how they could start over.

The only thing that Chloe met at that Rehabilitation Center was resentment, not her mother. Norma blamed her daughter for becoming a problem in her relationship with Ralph. She truly believed that Chloe enticed him all those years ago. Chloe begged and pleaded with her mother not to accuse her of such awful things. She told her the plan she had for them to be together with the money that her father Greg had left. Norma only scoffed at her my 1st husband could not rub to nickels together how much could he have possibly left?

With that Chloe decided not to push the point any further. She got up and left the center; hearing her mother's last word ringing in her ears.

Norma: Your father spoiled you he had you believing all kinds of lies. (She yelled after her) He had you believing you could sing! You could never sing! Your voice sounds like a dying horse nayying! (She yelled) You ruined my life! You ruined my life!

Workers from the center grabbed her and tried to calm her down.

Chloe wandered around until she found a karaoke bar; she signed up and tried to find her voice again.

The music played and she started to sing (Unfortunately really badly and off key due to her earlier untreated injures)

Chloe (Sings):

Oh, here I go againwalking the linekilling time between my sinsOh, why do I come hereThe ending's still the sameI'm bringing back old tearsI act like I don't knowWhere this road will go

Pour me something strongerPour me something straightAll these crooked voices, make them go awayI can barely stand upI can hardly breathePour me something stronger than mePour me something stronger than me

Sunrise hurts as much as youYou both come when I don't want you toOh, I — can still hear you sayThat you and I would both be better off this wayThese things that I run toWhat I put my heart through

Pour me something strongerPour me something straightAll these crooked voices, make them go awayI can barely stand upI can hardly breathePour me something stronger than me

Pour me something stronger

Pour me something dark

Pour it up so high that I can't feel my heart

I can hardly stand up

I can hardly breathe

Pour me something stronger than me

Pour me something stronger than me

After Chloe finishes singing to snickers and wise cracks from the people in the bar. Some yelling for her to" sit down" and calls of "don't give up your day job!"

Chloe walks up to the bar and orders the first of many drinks.

Author's notes: Please Review new people as well as old friends. Did I go too far? I needed to explain some things in Chloe's Character. Sorry if I went overboard. Also love goes out to all tall, skinny blondes, who are not conceited or racist, I don't want you to think I am picking on you! Love Anna

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